Orange County

Police say man tried to pull kids over fence at Chapel Hill preschool

Richard Donnell Mangum was arrested by Chapel Hill police for trying to abduct two children from the Montessori Academy of Chapel Hill on Wednesday.
Richard Donnell Mangum was arrested by Chapel Hill police for trying to abduct two children from the Montessori Academy of Chapel Hill on Wednesday. Submitted

Warrants say a Chapel Hill man arrested Wednesday may have threatened two children before trying to abduct them, according to published reports.

Police said a man tried to pull two students over a fence at the Montessori Academy of Chapel Hill. Court warrants obtained by television station WCNC say the man also threatened to kill and cremate the children before trying to grab them.

The school’s teachers intervened and stopped the man from taking the child, police said. They arrested Richard Donnell Mangum, 48, after getting a phone call about a suspicious man walking around the preschool at 1510 E. Franklin St.

The man grabbed two students and tried to pull them over the fence, according to the report, and fled after the teachers intervened. Officers arrested Mangum a short distance from the school.

Police charged him with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault, two misdemeanor counts of communicating threats and two felony counts of child abduction.

Mangum initially was being held at the Orange County jail under $40,000 bail. However, a judge raised his bond to $100,000 on Thursday afternoon, WCNC reported, because the judge said Mangum is an “endangerment to society and himself.”

Mangum refused to appear in front of a camera for his first court appearance via video from the jail, the report stated. He is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 21.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889, @JEJ_HSNews

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